What is the kingdom?

Here’s a single-sentence definition.

In the next five posts, we’ll cover the basics:

  1. What is the kingdom?
  2. Who is the king?
  3. What is the gospel of the kingdom?
  4. How does the kingdom come?
  5. What is our role in his kingdom?

Each post will conclude with a one-sentence answer.

What is the kingdom?

You’re not alone if you struggle with this question. Nick Perrin released an entire course on A Biblical Theology of the Kingdom of God. After 50+ videos, you reach his conclusion:

What is the kingdom? Well, in some ways, what I’ve been trying to suggest is the kingdom is terribly hard to describe, and I think Jesus wants it that way.

Sorry Nick, that’s wrong. The kingdom was so obvious to Jesus and his hearers, that it didn’t need defining. It wasn’t foreign to them, but it is to us:
a) We live in a democracy, not a kingdom. (We like the power to hire and fire our rulers.)
b) We don’t conceive of God as king.  (For us, religion and politics separate categories.)

But kingdom is such a simple concept. Scot McKnight says:

It always involves a people ruled by a king.

A kingdom is two entities in relationship:

  • a king,
  • the community under his reign.

In the kingdom of God:

  • God is king,
  • all the people and creatures on earth live as the community under his governance.

This is what God always intended. We were designed as images of the heavenly king, exercising his dominion in his earthly realm, by caring for the earth and all its creatures.

In our next post, we’ll talk about how this state of affairs is restored through Jesus, but here’s the basic definition:

The kingdom of God is:  earth as the community under divine governance.

 

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Author: Allen Browne

Seeking to understand Jesus in the terms he chose to describe himself: son of man (his identity), and kingdom of God (his mission). Riverview College Dean

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